GRAVITY defying acrobats are set to wow audiences in Leeds as The Moscow State Circus rolls into the city this week.
The big top - set up on Woodhouse Moor for the first show yesterday - will thrill circus-goers with some of the best acrobatic performances in the world as part of new show Babushkin Sekret.
The death-defying extravaganza is based on the Russian legend of the 12 Chairs - the story of a race to trace a 12-piece dining set that contains hidden family jewels.
One trick, in which a girl performs the splits on the heads of two high wire walkers at 30ft, is being seen for the first time in the UK on the current tour.
Tour manager Paul Archer said: “It’s truly spectacular and has never been seen before in the history of circus.
“This is a brand new show with some very special acts who have performed all over the world, including at the world famous Monte Carlo festival in January.
“People get blasé about circuses and there is a lot of rubbish out there, but you won’t have seen a lot of the stuff you will see here this time.”
Among the other performers are the Whirlwind Rubsovsm group, acrobatically catapulting themselves across the big top at breakneck speed, and the high-flying Doktrovs.
The Moscow State Circus first toured in 1956, when performers amazed audiences in Paris and in London.
The current circus production consists of a cast of 28 performers, including clowns, trapeze artists, aerial acrobats, jugglers and contortionists.
There will be two performances today and two tomorrow, three on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Tickets range from £7 to £28.
The circus moves to Hull next week before returning to West Yorkshire for a week in Huddersfield.